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Wave power company in administration

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A renewable energy company which received almost $5 million in federal grants has been put into administration, putting in doubt the future of its demonstration project in the waters near Carrickalinga.

The target of most of the funding – the Oceanlinx 1MW Commercial Wave Energy Demonstrator, based in South Australia – sank last month and remains visible offshore at Carrickalinga.

The company’s creditors’ meet tomorrow in Sydney to assess the future of Oceanlinx.

Insolvency experts Hall Chadwick were appointed external administrators last week.

In July 2012 Oceanlinx received just under $4 million dollars in funding from the Emerging Renewables Program (ERP).

The program was administered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support the development of renewable energy technologies.

The multi-million grant was meant to help Oceanlinx advance its wave energy installation (greenWAVE) to commercialisation.

Over the last two years it has been developing a demonstration model which was to be based at Port MacDonnell in the south east.

As it was being towed to the site, its flotation bouys were damaged, it flipped over and had to be towed back towards shore.

“The ‘greenWAVE’ unit, which left TechPort early on Saturday 1 March, was towed into shallower waters southeast of Adelaide after it began to lean backwards after 24 hours of towing without incident,” the company said in a statement.

“Divers made an assessment of the extent of the damage and the cause of the incident once it was safe to do so.

“It is clear that serious damage has been incurred by the airbags which caused instability of the unit.

“Oceanlinx will decide on the next course of action after the investigations are complete.”

It still sits in the shallow waters off Carrickalinga and with no funds to salvage it, there has been no decision on what will happen next.

A similar project developed by Oceanlinx has had a similar fate – the Mk3PC wave generator was installed at Port Kembla in New South Wales on 26 February 2010.

It had attracted federal funding of $750,000.

It remains in the Port Kembla Harbour, rusting in shallow waters.

Oceanlinx started life as a renewable energy company, Energetech, funded by US investors and private European funds, before attracting a series of grants and funds from Australian Government agencies.

In 2009 it was named by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) as one of the Top Ten Renewable Energy Investment Opportunities in the World.

 

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